This was the first of Wozniak's US Festivals - seen by some as a gift to fans by a fellow fan, and by others as dilettantism (and by almost nobody as the Apple Computers founder guy, since nobody yet knew what one was or what it did). Wozniak, in over his head, had buttonholed Graham, who added his faves reluctantly and for a truncated fee. The Dead were not a huge draw at the time. In a period where plenty of punters present presumed they had parted, it's not true that they "saved the festival" (they played all the time in SoCal anyway, albeit unannounced & unadvertised, as usual). There were myriad problems, just like the following year when The Clash headlined (this was the year with B52s, Talking Heads, & Police), but the Dead took the 9AM stage anyway for a relatively less-curtailed slot, launching a 45min, massively uptempo first set, into an unusual setlist. Whether influenced by the post-skinny tie LA New Wave or the candy necessary for the early call, n.b
. that this was just a couple months before the likewise-speedy Monetgo Bay trainwreck - also a festival slot.
If played at a normal tempo and with routine jams, the first set would be as much as ½hr longer (and we wouldn't have this tersely unique appearance). It's reasonable to assume that the timed, morning slot, and the other types of bands on the bill (and the mostly non-Deadhead, still waking audience) influenced the atmosphere and caused the shake-up in style. The 1st Set is a conversion set
, for the newbies, in front of a huge crowd - and it's a hoot. The 2nd set is "now we got 'em let's fuck with 'em". Bits and pieces used to circ as filler but rarely the whole show (in my circles, anyway). I've heard this was a typical Dead-in-a-festival trainwreck, and I've heard it's the best show of 82! Certainly a lot of SoCals say this was their lightbulb show. But when you mention Berdoo, talk quickly changes to Swing '77 don't it. Some think/mythologize otherwise, but there are plenty of examples where a short set was aces. Like this one.
First Set. Feel feel to be screwy, with a Playin'
opener - it's actually pretty good, though the mix hadn't settled. By the 2nd jam of Shakedown
, they get tight and fast. Minglewood
is fire and smoke and Bobby's weird slide playing works as a haze against Jer's power chords and the '82 sound. The pace quickens again for a nailed Samson
. China Cat
is extremely uptempo, which changes Bobby and Brent's approaches more than the others. It's capped with a Rider
for the fucking ages.
Second Set. Somehow they weren't as wound, coming back. But that means merely perfunctory renditions through Truckin'
(Berdoo, NY, Detroit and it's all the same street; plus the dreaded/horribly dated sex change lyric). Then the old-school tricksters - a nicely mindbending Space
to fuck with the newbie crowd. The intro for Not Fade
is interesting and leads to the set's peak. '82 is an interesting year for Bobby's tone and style. U.S. Blues
is played like a '74, but after Black Peter
it's a downward spiral (I'm sure Satisfaction
was a crowd-raiser in person - you had to be there).
Overall = 4 stars
Entire 1st Set - the mix takes awhile but it's one of the wildest rides ever
Space>Not Fade Away - you can almost taste the minds melting during this sequence
SOURCES: The miller.113746
is a patched, pitch-corrected and balance-and-levels fix of warner.5490
. The miller.113726
is a mirror. The sirmick.87210
is a great AUD and a matrix from the pair would be terrific - and the only way to soften the distorted keys on the SBD.